Aw look! One pattern, 364 versions of the MDK New Ancestral Christmas Stocking.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Dear Kay,
As you know, today is my BIRTHDAY.
My four-year-old darling Clif came up to me and said, “You know what I’m getting you for your birthday? Yarn.”
You know what Hubbo’s family got me for my birthday? Yarn. Kay, you know how I’ve been rattling on about She of the Hebrides, Ms. Alice Starmore? Well, get a load of this:
gleneskyarn.jpg
To make this:
gleneskswatch.jpg
A great whackin’ pile of Alice Starmore Hebridean 2 ply with which to make Glenesk, a Fair Isle pattern by Jade Starmore. It’s spoze to look like a shipwreck on the shore, where only the boiler of the ship remains in the sand with waves crashing around it. Wowee! Whatever! I’m looking forward to finishing this in time for my sixtieth birthday party, nineteen years from now.
As I photographed this fantastic batch of colors, I realized that this sweater uses all the shades of my favorite old rug, which you can see at the edges. Remember: There are no coincidences.
When my brother-in-law David handed me that box, the one all covered with superexotic and therefore intoxicating postal stamps, he said, “If this thing gives you a giant headache, blame Kay.”
I do believe you gave him an assist on selecting this pattern, you sly minx, so I thank you for giving me a project that you will get to hear about for a nice, long time.
Love,
Ann

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39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. Happy bithday! Isn’t it great to get gifts you can play with? We should all eat cake and knit to celebrate.

  2. Happy birthday, Ann! You know, you could set aside some of that Shetland, split the plies, and knit a wee, ickle pullover for Barbie–or not. With good wishes, Cristina

  3. Ann
    what a fantastic present – hope the rest of the day is as special! I can see this project needing a blog of it’s own!!

  4. Happy, happy, happy birthday, Ann. Let me guess what you want – could it be yarn? haha. How about being the recipient of the first ever My Threaded Bliss birthday discount card??
    Hope your day is fantastic!
    xoxo
    Sheila

  5. Happy birthday, from another Ann :)

  6. Dear Ann,
    You’re very welcome. It was fun assisting your in-laws, whom, like you, I do not actually know, with this little shopping project. I got to feel a bit like our kind-hearted yarn-shopper pal Polly, but without having to front the credit card or fly across the Atlantic lugging your yarn in my suitcase. I just ‘advised’, i.e., told them what to get.
    What our readers do not know is that the reason you got such an over-the-top, pull-out-the-stopper whopper of a birthday gift is that you provided Services Beyond the Call of Sister-in-Law Duty when you emptied the house of Hubbo’s parents — a house they had filled with decades of happy memories and appurtenant STUFF, including several thousand quilt-worthy shirts. Personally I thought they should knit Glenesk for you for that exceedingly Good deed, but then you’d miss all the fun of knitting it yourself.
    Happy Birthday Baby!!!!!! Make sure you celebrate with appropriate food and beverage even though it’s a Monday night. None of those frozen dumplings–order in! Love, Kay

  7. Happy Birthday Ann! I love this pattern — it is on my covet list (along with many others). I predict you will be completely hooked on this project by row 2, and all your other projects will be screaming for attention as you futz with eentsy little needles. (You’ll pick up Pearl on your breaks and feel like you are knitting with bulky yarn!) As you know I’ve started my Suzani Wrap (targeted completion date: 2010) so we can egg each other on. Although knitting fair isle and drinking birthday champagne is not necessarily the best combination, I can attest that champagne and skein winding are meant for each other. Cheers!

  8. Happy Birthday Miss Ann. May you have many happy and joyous days of knitting. Enjoy your Starmore project.

  9. happy birthday! Being another member of the february birthday set, I must say how totally jealous I am of your present!!

  10. WOWEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
    *H*A*P*P*Y* *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y* !
    Shall we have a casual,I’ll help & support you if you help & support me,take up to 10 years ,with lots of other projects slotted in,Jade Starmore along ?
    I meant to e-mail you with this tandem fair isle idea,but now we have more reason.And isn’t that hebridean yarn totally scrumptious ?

  11. HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear Ann! What a lovely, lovely present…..

  12. Happy Birthday!!!!
    you very lucky girl…
    have a wonderful day
    love, Ben

  13. i’ve been clandestinely reading your blog for months, and can now say it is my favoritist – even over that one by w…..
    (you *do* know that glenesk is the feature sweater on her gallery page, don’t you?)
    and that there’s a steek involved? eek!
    i do have a bit of confusion – do you and kay really not know each other? and have not met? how did this blog come about?
    happy bd! libby

  14. Happy Birthday Ann!! from another Ann who also just turned 41 in January! Glad you are starting this project while you still have your eyesight! I wish I had someone to assist my family members as regards gifting from yarn shops! maybe I shall talk to my lys about a gift registry program!

  15. Happiest of happy birthdays, Ann! I only wish I had half of your talent so I could attempt a project like that!

  16. Happy Birthday, Ann! What a wonderful birthday surprise you got.

  17. With such a lovely present I am sure you had a very Happy Birthday!!
    Luv Jacinta

  18. Happy birthday! I’m with everybody, can’t wait to hear how the *more goes. Clearly, you have Clif well trained. It’s good that you started him so early. ;) That shipwreck (or whatever) pattern is divine.

  19. Aw heck, everybody, thanks for your good wishes. I don’t feel a day over 41.
    Now. I need to clarify something. It is appropriate that this pattern is based on a shipwreck, because that’s exactly what I expect this experience to be. Just because somebody gives me the makings of a fantastic Alice Starmore sweater, it doesn’t mean I have even the slightest clue how to make the thing. I got NO creds on this other than a Fair Isle cardigan I made for my niece (miniature) and the bottom two inches of Emmeline from Rowan 28. Done on size 8s in a fluffy, forgiving mohair.
    It’s like when you’re six and you wish and wish somebody would give you a pony. Who wouldn’t want an Alice Starmore sweater? Who wouldn’t want a pony? The only problem is, somebody gave me a pony and I don’t have a barn.
    Thomas and Emma–now there are some folks who are right to be taking on one of these thingies. I shall gladly and humbly follow behind you all as you click through your Starmores. And I invite any other suckers for punishment to get the in-laws to lob a box of yarn your way. Kay will happily point them toward some ungodly little kit.
    Libby–It’s true that Kay and I have never met. We’ll cook up some likely-sounding story of how we ended up with Mason-Dixon Knitting. For the moment, let’s just say it had to do with our days in the Central Intelligence Agency.
    And yes, Libby, the cuttin’ o’ the steeks has already been scheduled, for July 4, 2030.

  20. Happy Birthday Anne!

  21. Happy Birthday Ann! I see your knitting wishes have already come true, you lucky girl! Enjoy your day!!!

  22. A very proud day for me. I get a mention in M-DK, and a photo of my wife, too!
    Kay, kudos again for helping us out on the gift-selecting. Expect a call for help around this time next year, and um, the next 50 or so years after that!
    — Dave

  23. A very happy birthday to you Ann, and what a super birthday present. Don’t envy you the steeks though, I swoon at the very thought

  24. Ann,
    aren’t you also collecting the yarns for Keava too and actually getting pretty close? So you now have TWO Starmore kits beckoning to the FairIsle knitter in you.
    If you are in need of some FairIsleTraining, try this one: http://www.knittingbeyondthehebrides.org/patterns/bkfi/bearlyteaser.html
    All techniques necessary for that perfect Starmore moment are taught on that project.
    Hugs,
    Thos.

  25. Ann,
    Better late than never. Happy Birthday!
    Hope you had a wonderful birthday!
    Enjoy the Starmore, I’m sure it will be an adventure! Call in Sissel for the steeks, she’s the expert!
    Love
    Kristine

  26. Oh, Thomas, I was afraid you might bring that up. 8 ) Yes, I am collecting yarns for that other Fair Isle. Having the yarns for Glenesk takes the pressure off finding those last two colors for, oh, a decade. In the meantime, Kay has suggested that I start decorating with yarn.
    The link you suggested is fantastic: a bear cardigan that teaches all the little things you need to know. Maybe I should just make ten of those little ones instead of one big one. For anyone contemplating this Fair Isle lunacy, these instructions assume you know nothing. Exceptionally straightforward. Mason-Dixon Knitting Award for Clarity.

  27. Ann – Happy Birthday! And, holy crap, that sweater scares the bejeezus out of me. The yarn is so scrumptious..and the fair isle so indimidating..but I’m sure you’ll knock it out. Can’t wait to see progress pics… Hope you had a wonderful day!

  28. Happy (late) Birthday Ann. Did you cry? Maybe you didn’t want to. ;)

  29. Happy Birthday Ann!
    July 4th 2030 will be my 70th birthday. Maybe I will be cutting the steeks of Eriskay along with y’all!
    Love,
    Aara

  30. (delurks)
    Happy Birthday Ann! What a fabulous prezzie – hope you had a great day. :)

  31. Belated Birthday Greetings Ann – how good to know that you are appreciated! I shall be fascinated to see how this project develops….

  32. Ann
    Belated Happy Birthday!
    Now, such a pressie goes beyond all hoping for – congrats to Kay & your in-laws for perfect pressie shopping.
    I’m looking forward to all the fair-isle blogging.
    Jo
    xxx

  33. Hi Ann
    Belated birthday greetings ! You’ll be fine with the Starmore – one of my very first fairisle projects was a Starmore sweater and it’s easier than it looks. (honest …well honest”ish”)
    Okay there was a slight of feeling of youth and naivety triumphing over experience but as the other Ann says as long as you have your sight …
    Anyway I’ll show you mine if you show me yours – I’m half way through a Jade Starmore cushion at the moment – 20 minutes per row – pah ! no problem !

  34. Happy Birthday, Ann!
    What a beautiful gift — I like the timeline you’ve given yourself. :) Have a wonderful day!

  35. Happy Birthday Ann.
    Enjoy Glenesk, it’s my top pick for my next Starmore once I work through the ones in stash.

  36. What a wonderful present! (And how lucky are you to have such great in-laws).
    Enjoy it and have a super birthday.

  37. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, MS. Ann!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    “For she’s a jolly good knitter, for she’s a jolly knitter, for she’s a jolly good kniiitteeeeer, which nobody can deny!”
    [Throws confetti all around.]

  38. Happy, Happy Birthday!!!

  39. Happy belated birthday from me, too! Sounds like it was a good one. I’m just pea green with envy about your Glenesk.